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Bar News - May 14, 2010

New Buildings for Merrimack, Berlin District Courts

The Merrimack Courthouse, a 24,000 square foot, two-story building, opens May 24 to house the Merrimack District Court. In addition to the district court, Master David Forrest will be using a courtroom there to hear marital cases from Hillsborough County South Superior Court for the next year.

The new Merrimack Courthouse is part of the town’s municipal building complex. Court operations and hours during the week of May 17 may be limited while the move from the court’s current location in Town Hall is completed.

Since January, Master Forrest has been hearing cases in the Milford District Court, with the expectation that his temporary courtroom would shift to Merrimack when that building opened.

The Merrimack courthouse eventually will be another Family Division site, as that court continues its expansion in Hillsborough County. The current projected opening date for a Merrimack Family Division is September 2010, but that could be affected by potential spending reductions, as the legislature considers remedies to a large budget gap. (See article on page 1.)

In other court construction news, the Berlin District Court last month moved into new quarters at 650 Main Street. The court occupies the first floor of a building that will also house offices for the state Department of Education and Health & Human Services.

Steve Lorentzen, administrator of court facilities for the NH Department of Administrative Services, also said that interior demolition and asbestos removal at the Hillsborough North Superior Court building is on schedule to be completed by July, when interior construction would begin. The new Manchester courthouse is expected to be ready in June 2011.

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